‘Ben Hur experience’ in sound and light spectacular

Rhian Sheehan and band rehearse at the Dunedin Town Hall last night. Photo: Linda Robertson
Rhian Sheehan and band rehearse at the Dunedin Town Hall last night. Photo: Linda Robertson
Emotional landscapes of sound with visuals created by New Zealand design and effects facility Weta Workshop will help wind down Arts Festival Dunedin tonight.

A show by Rhian Sheehan at the Dunedin Town Hall labelled a "Ben Hur experience" will be a feature on the penultimate night of festival.

The Miramar, Wellington-based musician is set to turn the town hall into a sound and light experience when he showcases for the first time his new album A Quiet Divide.

The show will feature an eight-piece band with orchestration by the Dunedin Youth Orchestra.

The award-winning music producer and screen composer is known for his fusion of atmospheric-post-rock with electronic and chamber music.

His albums have amassed more than 30million streams on Spotify.

Sheehan said the sets had been designed by Weta Workshops after he approached founder Richard Taylor.

"I actually do a bit of work for Weta. I know Richard, so that helps."

Sheehan said the inspiration for this compositions came from finding a space to write.

"For me it’s just about taking a step away from everything else, just sitting down and getting myself in a space and writing music.

"It’s generally contemplative music, cinematic, big emotional soundscapes.

"It’s hard to put it into words but the word nostalgic comes across in the music. It has that nostalgic feel about it."

Arts Festival Dunedin director Nicholas McBryde said the show was "the biggest thing the festival has ever done".

"It started off as an idea and turned into a Ben Hur experience."

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